On top of my regular Taekwon-do training I’ve started several new cross training exercises to help with my cardio, endurance, flexibility and over all strengthening.
Swimming: My pool trainings have been a nice surprise in the sense that I’m surprised how much I like it. I am swimming a few times a week. I took years of swimming lessons when I was younger but I have ‘exercise induced asthma’ so the past few years, I have been really anxious (and even scared) about not being able to breathe and water especially. I never used to enjoy swimming that much but now I look forward the solitude and peacefulness of the water. It’s like I shut everything else out of my mind and I’m in my own little world in a rhythm. I am hoping too that the swimming will help me with my breath control and cardio. Every time I’m able to swim a bit further in the hour. I’m lucky to have friends who are really good swimmers and triathletes to help me with my stroke improvement. I have been learning a lot. The thing I like about swimming is that it’s a great workout without putting pressure on my joints. I just can’t believe I’m at the pool so early in the mornings since I always found it hard to get to school on time 😉
Weight Training/Spinning Classes/Yoga:
GoodLife Fitness clubs offers free gym memberships to students ages 13-17 for the months of July and August which is awesome!! I signed up right away and it’s been great. They have so many great machines to isolate specific muscles that I want. They also have spinning classes and a variety of other fitness classes. My friend Steph Boivin gave me a really good weight program to follow so I know what I have to do when I’m there and it’s perfect because they are specific to TKD. Yoga is something that I do almost daily on my own but I’m really looking forward to trying some of the yoga classes at GoodLife to learn more poses and routines. I find yoga so helpful with stretching, flexibility and relaxation.
Pyramid Training: I’ve been doing downward pyramid training that completely exhausts your body since you are working every muscle in between sprint intervals so there is no break and because they are explosive movements they shock your muscles. This is something that I can do whenever I want at the park. I only do this 2-3 times a week so my muscles can recover between sessions. It’s fun when my friends join too! 🙂 It’s something that we can do together but at our own pace.
Tabada Workouts: I love these workouts because they are short intervals to help me with short bursts and a quick recovery. This is ideal for sparring!
I really miss being at the track this summer but my elbow still isn’t 100% yet so there is no way I could throw a javelin, shot put or discus. The risks are too high if I tried to throw right now so I pulled myself out for the season. I still keep in touch with my throwing friends and coaches and I look forward to getting back to the throwing after the World Championships.
I think it’s really important to have a variety of training to keep things fun, interesting, challenging and it also prevents over use of the same muscles.
TKD: All this cross training is great but I’m definitely the happiest when I’m in the dojang! It’s just my happy place 🙂 I used to love patterns a lot more than sparring. There were even a few years that I wouldn’t spar at all!! Now, I can honestly say that I love them both equally 🙂 I am looking forward to seeing my progression over the next 4 months. Mr. LeGrow has it all planned out so I am very excited to have started.
Mr. LeGrow and I finally have our TKD training schedule and plan set in place. We have seminars and trainings lined up for the whole summer so all the timing will be perfect. It’s so amazing that he’s competing too so we are going through this journey together.
The coolest part for me is how happy I am. I have an amazing balance right now with my friendships, social life, jobs, my mental space and my training. I just feel whole. I have more people apart of my journey this time around in a different way and it feels great! My friends at home have been doing all the cross training with me since they are training for other sporting events, and my friends from out of town have been so supportive too!
I have been trying not to compare my last World Championships to this one. The fact is, I am a different person this time around, and my lifestyle is different. I am learning to embrace change and I’m looking at the journey with a fresh set of eyes. I am comfortable and I’m really happy with the way I am feeling mentally and physically. I am very focussed and I’m excited for each day and every training. I know it’s a real privilege to be able to do what I love to do everyday and I don’t take it for granted.